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MSSW Program Application & Admissions Information

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The Application Deadline is February 1. All applications must be received by this date to be considered.

The Admissions and Records Office for the College of Social Work is located in Henson Hall on the Knoxville campus. Applications for both campuses and the Online MSSW Program are processed through this office. Applicants indicate the campus/program in which they are interested on the application form. An applicant may contact this office with questions about the program, the application process, or the status of his or her application by phone at 865-974-1096 (Monday through Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm Eastern time) or via e-mail at .

A description of admission requirements for graduate admission to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville may be obtained from:

Please Note: Due to the large number of applications for the one year (Full-Time) Advanced Standing Online MSSW Program from those living outside of the state of Tennessee, we will not be able to accept out-of-state applications for the 2022 Online Full-time Advanced Standing MSSW Program after December 1, 2021.

College of Social Work MSSW Program (on-campus and online) Admission Requirements

Admission to the MSSW program is based on the following requirements:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency or foreign equivalent.
  2. Preparation in the social sciences (at least three-fourths of the undergraduate work should be in the social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, and other liberal arts subjects).
  3. A liberal arts perspective with course work from at least four of these five areas:
    • economics or mathematics
    • government, political science, or history
    • sociology or anthropology
    • psychology
    • philosophy, literature, or the arts
  4. U.S. degree holders must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 out of a possible 4.0 on all undergraduate work and a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 on all previous graduate work. Individuals with degrees from foreign institutions must have a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work and a minimum of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale on all previous graduate work. All applicants applying for admission to the Advanced Standing program must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  5. Personal qualifications acceptable for entrance into the professional practice of social work.
  6. GRE scores are not required for admission to the MSSW program

Preference is given to applicants with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or above in their undergraduate work and with substantial preparation in the social sciences.

Note: The College of Social Work does not offer spring admission. The Advanced Standing program begins in the summer semester. The Full time and Extended Study programs begin in the fall semester.

The Application Process

  1. Submit your application by completing the following at the Graduate School’s web site:
    • Graduate School online application
    • $60.00 application fee (paid online at the time of your application submission)
    • Official transcripts from each institution you have previously attended. In order for your application to be processed you must provide scanned versions of official transcripts from all undergraduate and/or graduate institutions, even if you didn’t receive a degree. Your transcripts must be uploaded with the online application. If you do not upload your official transcript(s) with your application, you must have your official transcripts mailed or sent electronically from the institution(s) to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Please keep in mind that doing this will delay the processing of your application. If you have attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville your UTK transcripts will already be on file. Additional guidelines for submitting transcripts can be found online at
    • Scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if native language is not English.
  2. Personal Statement – you must upload your personal statement with the online application.
  3. Three (3) MSSW Reference Evaluation Forms – during the application process applicants will submit the names and emails addresses of three (3) references. These individuals will receive an electronic reference form via email to complete and submit online. References constitute an essential part of the admission process and should be chosen with care. If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, or have recently graduated, it is strongly recommended that at least one reference be an academic reference from a professor or instructor. Applicants to the advanced standing program must have at least one academic reference and one field reference (field coordinator or field instructor/supervisor). The others should be professional references from sources familiar with your volunteer, internship, or paid work experience. They should be able to provide information regarding your ability, character, past academic and/or employment performance over an extended period of time, and potential for success in the practice of social work. Suitable references include employers/supervisors, professional and academic references. Do not use relatives or social acquaintances as references. Please be aware that additional references may be requested by the admissions committee.
  4. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) must be uploaded with the online application.

International applicants should refer to the Admissions for International Students page on the Graduate School’s web site for additional information.

For complete information regarding the MSSW program, please refer the MSSW Student Handbook.

More on the MSSW program:

About the MSSW Program
MSSW Program Details
Online MSSW Program Information
Frequently Asked Admissions Questions
MSSW Program Video